Chindwin River

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The Chindwin River is the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy and is 1,207 kilometers long. The river originates in the broad Hugawng Valley of Kachin State where the Tanai, the Tabye, the Tawan, and the Taron rivers meet. The Tanai exits the Hukawng valley through the Taron (or Turong) valley and through a sharp defile in the river. It then takes on the name of Chindwin, and maintains a general southerly course, flowing past the towns of Hkamti, Htamanthi, Homalin, Mawlaik, Kalewa, Kalaymyo, Mingin, and Monywa until it reaches the Irrawaddy not so far from Mandalay.

The Uyu River is the largest tributary joining the Chindwin just below Homalin. The famous jade mines of Burma lie at the headwaters of Uyu.

Much of Chindwin’s course lies within mountain ranges and deep forests. Due to the difficulty of access, much of it has yet to be studied. The river runs through intact forests in both the Tamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Hugawng Valley Tiger Reserve, the largest tiger reserve in the world. It sustains vital habitats for a wide array of wildlife, including globally endangered species, tigers, elephants, and the endemic Burmese Roof Turtle.

To find out more about the dam plans for the Chindwin, click here

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